A start-up automotive supplier has a message for drivers
with sore backs: Move while you drive.
Comfort Motion Technologies (CMT), a maker
of a software algorithm that helps automate driver seat movement, believes
motion is more important to spinal health than the driver's posture or even the
seat design. The company showed off its software-based solution at the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) World
Congress held in Detroit in April.
is to move the seat automatically," said Christopher Meyer, product engineer
for CMT. "We believe if you move, it improves your comfort, reduces fatigue,
promotes alertness and increases blood flow to the lower extremities.
invented by a chiropractor, combines a proprietary software algorithm with the
vehicle's power seat hardware. At regular intervals, the software wakes up the
power functions, opening and closing the seat like a clamshell. The key is the
motion of the seat bottom, which moves in half-degree increments until it
reaches a total travel of three degrees. In addition to working with the
brushless dc motors that move the so-called "seat pan," it also interfaces with
the seat's recline motor and lumbar support motors, if the vehicle incorporates
is to redistribute the pressure points in the body and change the way forces travel
through the spine," Meyer said.†
engineers say that by supplying motion, the company's patented software concept
provides a function that vehicle occupants normally seek when they naturally move
around in their seats during long drives.
body is very dynamic," notes the inventor, Dr. Paul Phipps, in an online video
describing the technology. "It craves motion. Motion is how it functions well."